I just got some great “testimonials” from people who have been members of my supervision group over the years, and I thought I would post them here first.
The supervision group has always been a big dream of mine in terms of conceptualizing my ideas about art therapy supervision, and the importance of the art studio and art making in supervision. I wanted to have an “outside” supervision group for professional art therapists that would further their growth as therapists and also offer them support and connection with other art therapists in the field. While many art therapists work in settings where there are lots of other creative arts therapists, it is also quite common to work somewhere where you are the only art therapist, and as such, an ambassador for art therapy, but it can be lonely without colleagues who “get it” right away.
So I think this group was born from my focus on my thesis article in grad school which was about the art therapist nurturing the creative artist self within. The connection between identifying as a professional artist and as an art therapist has always been a balance and inclusive, but not everyone gets to balance these identities, mostly because of time, money and space. So the supervision group was born from this concept: that the most basic need for making art be filled at least in the group, to enable the art therapist’s growth as an artist and a therapist.
The group involves clinical issues and case presentations, as well as career building and other essential aspects of art therapy supervision. What has excited me since I started this group in 2008 when I had two groups a week, was to hear from people in the group that they had not made their own art in a long time, and since joining the group, they noticed they have started making more art in their free time. Someone just mentioned this the other day in the group, and that is what is so fulfilling about facilitating this kind of group.
To avoid burnout and depression at very challenging traumatizing jobs, it is essential for the art therapist to have good supervision and the opportunity to process their work through art making as well as dialogue…
So here are a few testimonials I gathered, and thank you so much again to the people who wrote them for me!
“I came to this supervision group upon starting a new job where I was the first Art Therapist on their staff. I received the foundations and support I needed to be more grounded in my work, learned to better advocate for my position, and gained resourceful insights regarding my population and others through the clinical observations, transference issues, and experiences of other group members. Having access to every type of art material in the meeting space facilitated interesting reactionary art, self exploration, and cultivated ideas for working with our clients. Natasha was also well-versed in all areas of practicing art therapy including private practice, insurance, and workshop/education preparation which was useful to me as I looked to expand my work in the field.”